Jolo attack shows terrorists’ opposition to BOL — political scientist

admin   •   January 29, 2019   •   1828

Courtesy: AFP WESTMINCOM

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research chairman, Prof. Rommel Banlaoi thinks that the twin blasts that rocked a Catholic church in Jolo, Sulu is the terrorists’ way of expressing opposition to the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

Banlaoi explained that the bombing was thoroughly planned and conducted after the conduct of first BOL referendum held last January 21 in Cotabato City, Isabela in Basilan and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. 

He added that the incident will serve as a challenge to members of the Bangsamoro government since the BOL is envisioned to bring peace and stability in the region.

 “Lumalabas na hindi kinakatakutan ng mga terrorist group kung ano man ang itatayong Bangsamoro government dahil iba ang sinusulong nilang pamahalaan. Ang sinusulong nila ay Islamic State na link sa ISIS,” said Banlaoi.

(It shows that the terrorist group is not afraid of the Bangsamoro government because they are pushing for an ISIS-linked Islamic State.)

Banlaoi also believes that the Abu Sayyaf Group is linked to the bomb attack. Based on their studies, the twin bombing is a signature of a terrorist group that is assisted by international militants.

Banlaoi also pointed out some similarities in the Jolo bombing to the Rizal Day bombing in 2000 and the Valentine’s Day attack in 2005 that were both claimed by the Abu Sayyaf.

 “Yang Abu Sayyaf Group, foreign assisted yan kaya doon nila natutunan ang pagsasagawa ng bomba at yang estilo ng pagatake particularly ang pagta-target sa isang Christian entity,” said the professor.

(The Abu Sayyaf Group is assisted by foreign terrorists from whom they learned bomb-making and the targeting of Christian entities as a style of attack.) — UNTV News & Rescue

Abu Sayyaf member arrested in Zamboanga City

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 17, 2020

A member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) was arrested in Zamboanga City Friday morning (January 17).

Benhajar Salapuddin Alan was arrested in a joint manhunt operation of the Sulu Police Provincial Office, Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), Police Regional Office in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), and Zamboanga City Mobile Force Company.

Alan was arrested at the Zamboanga Port Authority Compound around 5:00 a.m. on Friday.

Alan is a member of the group headed by the late ASG leader Albader Parad. He is also facing murder charges and is allegedly involved in illegal drugs and ‘gun for hire’ activities in Zamboanga.

The suspect is now under the custody of the Zamboanga City Police Office.—AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

4 suspected Abu Sayyaf members arrested in Zamboanga City

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 26, 2019

Four suspected members of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were arrested during the joint operation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Zamboanga City on Thursday (September 26).

The arrested individuals were identified as Aljiver Habibula, Omar Julaspih, Rody Marail, and Nash Amik who are all from Sulu province and are currently residing at Barangay Baliwasan, Zamboanga City.

Recovered from the operation are ingredients for Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

According to the PNP, they have been monitoring the suspects for several days. They also clarified they have not received any threats of bombing in Zamboanga City.

“Batay sa briefing ng ating intelligence division ay wala naman talaga tayong threat tungkol diyan. Hindi rin natin masasabi kung ito ba ay may plano (attack) para sa ating fiesta pilar (Based on the briefing of our intelligence division, there are no threats. We also cannot say if they have a planned attack for our festival),” Police Regional Office 9 Spokesperson PMaj. Helen Galvez said.

However, according to AFP Western Mindanao Command Spokesperson Maj. Arvin John Encinas, they received a report last month about the ASG’s plan to bomb various areas in the country.

Encinas said this is a part of ASG’s retaliatory attack because their number continues to decrease.

“Maliit na lang iyan pero mayroon silang kakayahan to conduct IED attacks (They may be small but they still have the capacity to conduct IED attacks),” he warned.

Due to this, he reminded the public to immediately report to the authorities any suspicious individuals in their area.

They can contact the PRO-9 office at 0917 506 2000.—AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

PNP says no ISIS threat in Bulacan, probes leak of draft memo

Robie de Guzman   •   September 11, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is now investigating the leak and circulation online of a draft memorandum stating about the alleged presence of “ISIS affiliates” in Bulacan.

The said document posted on social media states that the Bulacan Provincial Police Office was on full alert status because of threats posed by the terrorist group. It said ISIS-inspired militants from Tuguegarao are moving to Bulacan to attack religious communities in the province.

According to Bulacan provincial police director Chito Barseluna, the document was not official and was not intended for public release.

He added that there was a miscommunication in drafting the memo as this should have been written to alert police units following recent bombings in Mindanao.

Barseluna confirmed that Bulacan police was indeed on full alert but this is because of the celebration of the Singkaban festival in the province.

The police official also denied receiving an intelligence report about the presence of an ISIS-inspired group in the province.

Barseluna also called on the public to stay calm and assured that tight security measures are in place. RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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